10:05pm – Tuesday, April 10 on ABC1
Virginia Trioli talks with cult icon John Waters – a filmmaker, writer, stand-up comedian, visual artist and art collector responsible for such trash cinema classics as Pink Flamingos, Cry-Baby and the film that he’s best known for, 1988′s Hairspray. Waters’s films, which rarely shy from controversy, depict the freakier side of society in a very camp style with the aim of celebrating the underdog.
Directing movies since the age of 16, Waters filmed primarily in his blue collar home town of Baltimore with cast members who lived in the area. One of the standout characters was known simply as Divine.
Played by Waters’s boyhood friend Glenn Milstead, Divine was an eye-catching persona based around the concept of ‘Jane Mansfield combined with Godzilla to scare hippies’. Milstead was a regular feature in Waters’s films up until his death, in 1988.
Waters’s involvement in other art forms echoes his desire to challenge and be different. He has created photo-based artwork and installations that have been exhibited internationally and is an avid collector of contemporary art.
Now in his 60s, Waters is finding it hard to complete his next project, strangely a children’s Christmas film called Fruitcake, but he is undaunted. “I write a book if I can’t make a movie or I do an art show. I have different ways of telling stories.” Featuring footage from films that are still considered shocking today, Trioli’s interview showcases the many talents of a man not suitable for the easily offended.